STATEMENT FROM LAKELAND CITY MANAGER DOUG THOMAS
LAKELAND POLICE DEPARTMENT VOTE OF CONFIDENCE
I have just received the results of the non-binding votes regarding confidence in Chief Lisa Womack by unionized sworn and non-union civilian personnel in the Lakeland Police Department.
It is important to note that the Chief of Police is not an elected position and the outcome of the voting does not result in her removal from her position as Chief of Police. However, the results of the vote are concerning because it represent the current pulse of both sworn and non-sworn Departmental personnel.
I plan to meet with the leadership of the various employee groups at the Lakeland Police Department to discuss their feelings and concerns to better understand the particular issues that impacted their individual voting, especially among non-unionized civilian personnel. I will also be meeting with Chief Womack to discuss her perspectives of tonight’s outcome and how she and the administration at the Lakeland Police Department can best address the concerns regarding the Department.
The City will also gain further insight on particular issues that may have influenced tonight’s outcome from the employee survey process that is scheduled to be administered in the first quarter of 2014. These steps will help us further evaluate the direction the Department as we continue to work toward addressing employee and public concerns that LPD has faced over the past year. The Lakeland Police Department has a very dedicated staff and we appreciate their hard work and commitment to this community.